Ordinance to give full deduction for donation to PM-CARES promulgated 

#GS2 #Economy 

The government on Tuesday promulgated the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 to bring into effect various tax compliance related measures — including extended deadline for filing income tax, customs and central excise returns — announced on March 24 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • The Ordinance also amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide the same tax treatment to the PM-CARES Fund as available to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. 
  • Extension of several time limits related to direct and indirect tax filings have been extended to June 30, so has the date for passing of order or issuance of notice by tax authorities under various direct taxes and Benami Law. 
  • Taxpayers can avail the Sabka Vishwas Legal Dispute Resolution Scheme 2019 till June 30, giving more time to settle their indirect tax disputes. 
  • It also allowed for 100% exemption of donations made to PM Cares fund, set up to aid containment and relief efforts against the virus outbreak. Also, the limit on deduction of 10% of gross income shall also not be applicable for such donations. 
  • Government has enabled itself by amending the CGST Act, 2017, to extend due dates for various compliances including statement of outward supplies, filing refund claims, filing appeals, among others, on recommendations of the GST Council.  

JAMMU AND KASHMIR REORGANISATION (ADAPTATION OF STATE LAWS) ORDER, 2020 

#GS2 #Polity #Governance 

The Centre has defined new domicile rule for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) according to which a person residing in J&K for at least 15 years will now be eligible to be a domicile of the Union Territory. 

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New rules: 

  • In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, under the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, has been introduced. 
  • It defines domicile as that who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K. 
  • The provisions of the Act authorize the Tehsildar as a competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate, as opposed to Deputy Commissioner. 
  • Apart from J&K resident, the following are also eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property in J&K: Children of those Central Government/PSU/PSB/universities officials who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfill any of the conditions in sections. 
  • Section 5-A states that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale for not more than level 4 unless he is a domicile of UT of J&K. 
  • Through the same order, the Centre has repealed the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act. 

Medical Devices notified as Drugs 

#GS2 #Governance #Health 

Government is regulating 24 class of medical devices which have been notified/regulated as drugs under Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.  

  • Of the above, 4 medical devices viz. (i) Cardiac Stents (ii) Drug Eluting Stents (iii) Condoms and (iv) Intra Uterine Device (Cu-T) are scheduled medical devices for which ceiling prices have been fixed.  
  • These 4 medical devices are under price control.  
  • As regard remaining non-scheduled medical devices which are notified/regulated as drugs, NPPA is currently monitoring Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) under Para 20 of the DPCO, 2013 to ensure that no manufacturer/importers can increase the price more than ten percent in preceding twelve months. 
  •  The manufacturer/importer shall also be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest thereon from the date of increase in price in addition to penalty. 
  • Earlier, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) vide Notification dated 11th February, 2020, stated that all medical devices shall be governed under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013) w.e.f. 1st April 2020. 

About NPPA  

NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. 

Its functions are to: 

  • fix/revise the controlled bulk drugs prices and formulations, 
  • enforce prices and availability of the medicines under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995/2013, 
  • recover amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers 
  • monitor the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels. 
  • NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines that are listed in Schedule I of DPCO, 2013. 
  • The calculation of prices cap for essential drugs is based on simple average of all medicines in particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1%. 
  • Medicines that are not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10% annually. 

NASA to launch new mission ‘SunRISE’ to study the Giant Solar Particle Storms 

#GS3 #Science #Technology 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) to launch its new mission called the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE), a very large radio telescope to study how the sun generates & releases the giant space weather storms(solar particle storms) into planetary space. 

  • The study will help to protect the astronauts that travel to the moon & mars by providing better information on how the Sun’s radiation affects the space environment in which they travel. 
  • The mission is led by Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor & also managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). 
  • NASA has awarded USD 62.6 million to design, build and launch SunRISE before July 1, 2023. 

About SunRISE 

  • It is an array of 6 CubeSats, where each is about the size of a toaster oven, observes radio images of low-frequency emission from solar activity and shares them through NASA’s Deep Space Network. 
  • The constellation of CubeSats will fly within 6 miles(9.6kms) of each other above the earth’s atmosphere so as not to block the SunRISE’s observed radio signals. 
  • The 6 cubeSats together form a 3D map; it shows where the giant particle erupts in the sun form and how they evolve when expanded outward into space. 
  • It will help decide what initiatives & accelerates these giant jets of radiation. 
  • For the 1st time 6 individual spacecraft will also work together to pattern the magnetic field lines reaching from the Sun out into interplanetary space. 
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